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ROCKWELL ADVANCING PLASTICS TECHNOLOGY WITH VIPER COMPONENTS

 ROCKWELL ADVANCING PLASTICS TECHNOLOGY WITH VIPER COMPONENTS
 TROY, Mich., Feb. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Rockwell International (NYSE: ROK) is extending the horizons of plastic materials technology and tooling development with its contributions to Chrysler's (NYSE: C) new Dodge Viper sports car.
 Rockwell's Plastic Products is supplying for the Viper a unique, multi-functional windshield surround, a complex hood-and-fender assembly, and a large, single-piece radiator support, all incorporating innovative uses of various plastics.
 "One of Chrysler's goals for the Viper is to incorporate the most advanced material and process technologies to meet the design criteria of its new high-performance vehicles," William J. Laule, vice president and general manger, Plastic Products, said. "We're excited and eager to be part of that effort, and are committed to ensuring that our involvement helps Chrysler reach its objectives.
 "Importantly, Rockwell's Viper components and assemblies cover a general range of plastics applications, including exterior body panels (hood and fender), interior under hood (radiator support), and structural (windshield surround)," he said.
 "The variety and extent of our involvement with Viper is a demonstration of the ability for a supplier and customer to successfully work in a joint effort to design and produce a vehicle in the most efficient manner."
 The windshield surround is an unprecedented approach to a difficult application. It attaches directly to the vehicle frame, and holds the front windscreen in place, provides cross-car structural rigidity, and serves as the mounting support for the instrument panel.
 The surround is comprised of a formed steel bar, encapsulated in an acrylic-based resin using resin transfer molding (RTM) process. The process also involves use of urethane foam and a new fiberglass preform technique that, together, clad the steel bar and provide structural strength and rigidity. This surround is then part of a more complex module including a ventilation duct plate, a defroster grill and a molded-in wiring harness.
 "In addition to engineering a combination of several materials into a workable unit, our major contribution has been developing the process to produce the windshield surround," Laule explained. "Fewer individual parts and low-cost RTM tooling helped meet Chrysler's established cost targets."
 The Viper hood-and-fender is a complex assembly consisting of structural RTM inner panels bonded to an RTM external skin. Ultimately, the hood outer panel will be made of sheet molding composite (SMC).
 "Rockwell has long experience in designing and producing large, complex assemblies of this nature for heavy-duty trucks, and this knowledge has been invaluable to us in working with the Viper team," Laule noted.
 The vinylester sheet molding composite (VESMC) radiator support is a single-piece unit as compared to a conventional design which would be comprised of 17 separate metal stampings welded together. In addition to part simplicity and consolidation, this approach provides weight- reduction advantages.
 "We're pleased to be part of the excitement Viper has created," Laule said, "because it gives us an exceptional chance to demonstrate our technological capabilities with the support of a valued customer."
 Rockwell International is a multi-industry company applying advanced technology to a wide range of products in its electronics, aerospace, automotive and graphics businesses.
 -0- 2/25/92
 /CONTACT: R.H. Pacini of Rockwell International, 313-435-1752/
 (ROK C) CO: Rockwell International; Chrysler Corporation ST: Michigan IN: AUT SU: PDT


DH -- DE003 -- 2230 02/25/92 09:50 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Feb 25, 1992
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